Weeknote 6/2015

Pic of the week

What have I been up to?

I had a meeting with an IT director this week. It was a really useful meeting and I can’t thank them enough for basically laying their cards on the table; challenging me in a constructive manner; and sparing their time to listen. I’m looking forward to working with this organisation and hope that I can help to make a real difference.

As an Account Manager it can be quite daunting going into an organisation. It feels like there is an expectation (albeit an assumption on my/our part) for us to know absolutely everything there is to know about Jisc and the technical details behind various services and solutions that we offer. On Wednesday I attended some training that helped to ease some of that pressure, helping us to think through how we might deal with different situations and reiterating the point that it’s ok if we don’t know the answer. The key is taking note, and following up.

On Thursday I was down in London for a meeting with Jisc’s Futures directorate, who are responsible for a large chunk of Jisc’s research and development. Internally, I have a responsibility to liaise with this team and share key updates with other Jisc Account Managers so that across the piece we’re all fully aware of what’s going on. It was a great meeting, lots of great individuals doing some wonderful things in various spaces: student experience; enterprise and efficiency; FE and Skills; and Research.

I spent Friday focusing on the BI project I mentioned last week. Things are progressing and plans are crystallising. Our discussion centred on how we might develop an agile approach to allow for the development of new sector-relevant data visualisations (not to be confused with infographics!). There are two options emerging, quite similar in their nature, but we’re not sure which one will be the most suitable.

  1. Participatory—we manage the production of visualisations through a series of events. Event one is focused on developing user personas/stories so that we can better understand what kinds of visualisations will be of most use to the sector. This would be followed by a number of events (maybe 6 throughout the year) focused on creating the visualisations, preferably over nighters so that people (business representatives; data gurus; data analysts) have adequate time to do the work.
  2. Agile—this approach builds on the one mentioned above. Instead we create teams that can commit to and work on visualisations in between events. Any events, post start-up, will be a chance for everyone to regroup and showcase progress.

I also spent some time with my line manager brainstorming the agenda for an upcoming face-to-face meeting. Our team is geographically dispersed and so any time together is really important. We hope we’ve created an agenda that will be useful in reflecting on our first ten weeks; providing new starters with an overview of the work we do; clarifying our goals for the next ten weeks; and understanding how best to engage key contacts.

Things that caught my attention

Sorry, lots of Jisc stuff this week but I think you’ll find it really useful.

Recipe of the week

Gah, incomplete this week. It was a chicken madras but I started it and my wife finished it off so I’m not sure on the full recipe. Sorry folks!


2 thoughts on “Weeknote 6/2015

  1. As one of the new starters you refer to I’m really looking forward to meeting you all! I’ve found your blog really helpful and interesting and really looking forward to getting started; see you on Thursday!

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